Herb-Grilled Chicken Tacos

I don’t know about y’all but in the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve probably gained half of the 19 pounds.  Oh wait, is the “19” not referring to the amount of weight gained during quarantining?  My bad!

Dear Lord, Paul and I have eaten our way through the last 6 or so months.  So now that school is starting up again (well, sort of – at least I’m hoping to have a normal schedule), I’m determined to once again cook healthy, yet delicious meals.  Hence the grilled chicken tacos.

These are fresh, flavorful, and visually beautiful tacos.  Oh and as I require, they’re super easy!  I would suggest making these during the height of summer because of the fresh ingredients.  In-season herbs, fruits, and vegetables make all the difference in this kind of recipe.

I did have a few changes (mainly because I’m lazy).

  • I would double to the wet rub for the chicken.  We only had one pound of chicken and made the rub as called for, but could’ve easily used more.
  • We didn’t grill the avocado.  Simply because it just seemed like a lot of trouble.  Plus avocado on its own is a little piece of heaven here on earth.  But if you’re into grilled avocado, have at it!
  • We used queso fresco instead of cotija cheese.  I like the flavor and texture better.
  • We used flour tortillas because that’s all I could find while shopping and there’s no way I was gonna go to a second store.  Again, I’m lazy.
  • I heated the tortillas in a skillet then moved them to open flame so that they had that wonderful, charred flavor.

As Santa Barbara locals say at this time of year, “Viva la Fiesta!”

Herb-Grilled Chicken Tacos (recipe care of Lorena Garcia)

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INGREDIENTS:  1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil (divided), 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme, 1 tsp. lime zest, 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (divided), 3/4 tsp. black pepper (divided), 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 avocado (seeded and cut into 8 slices), 1 tomato (finely diced), 1/2 cup finely diced white onion, 1 small poblano chili (finely diced), 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 8 soft or hard corn tortillas, 2 oz. cotija cheese (crumbled)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat grill pan over high; brush with 1 tablespoon oil.  Stir together thyme, zest, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly with herb mixture.  Cook in hot pan until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side.  Remove chicken from pan; remove pan from heat.  Place avocado slices in pan, and let stand until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes.  Let chicken stand 1 to 2 more minutes; cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Stir diced tomato, onion, poblano, cilantro, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.  Heat tortillas according to package directions.  Fill with grilled chicken, pico de Gallo, grilled avocado and cheese.

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